I originally thought my calling was to use my talents to build high-rise buildings. I was in the high-rise world for the better part of three decades and thought I would stay my whole life, but then I bumped into a gentleman named Lyle Schaller. A member at my home church, he was a great influence on me. Before he passed away, Lyle would come up to me after worship on Sundays, tap me and say, "What's up this week, young man? What are you doing to advance the Kingdom? Never be afraid to use your secular gifts to do the Lord's work."
When I talk with churches about how to launch an online campus, I always share my own story of how I became connected with Church Online. I married an Oklahoman, and we initially settled in his state. We moved into our first little house and lived across the street from this church with very loud music. When I was pregnant with our first child, I felt terribly sick one Sunday morning. We were part of a great local church, but in that church, I had to wear heels and a nice dress to service. I told my husband, "I cannot do that today. I just can't do it, I'm so sick." He said, "Well, I'll just walk across the street to that church where you can wear jeans."
Discover the impact Millennials' values, allegiances, and assumptions will have on your church.
You’ve seen the statistics. If you’re in ministry, you’ve probably witnessed the problem firsthand. The Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) are leaving the church in droves...and staying away. Approximately 70 percent of those raised in the church disengage from it in their 20s. One-third of Americans under the age of 30 now claim “no religion.”
I remember the first time I heard of Aspen Group when a connection reached out to me and let me know they were growing and searching for their first HR Director. When I asked a few questions about the company, he was quick to share how great working at Aspen was—with an unwavering focus on the mission of creating space for ministry impact, living out the company’s values, and a family-friendly, collaborative environment. I was excited to apply and was honored to join the team in August 2017. When I came onboard, I saw that everything I had been told about the organization and how it treats its employees is true! Aspen’s leadership truly believes that having engaged and fulfilled staff is the most critical company health indicator and allows us to best serve our client churches.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to set expectations for leaders. Say I’m a small group leader, and I'm hearing over and over that I need to have an apprentice who I’m investing in. The expectation is that I need to reproduce my group. Say I identified Tony as my apprentice because he’s demonstrated the three characteristics I’m looking for—teachability, spiritual velocity, relational intelligence.
Anyone who considers adding a gymnasium to a church construction project or upgrading an existing gym space knows how large of a project it is to tackle. For some churches, building a gymnasium is a massive undertaking that reaps significant ministry rewards. For other churches, however, building a gym is a diversion from God’s plan and a waste of precious resources.
When we work with churches to design ministry space, high on their wish list is storage—space to stow seasonal decorations, banners, candles, music equipment, Sunday school supplies, tables, chairs, and so on. These are legitimate storage needs. But many times adding more storage isn’t the right solution. There are high, hidden costs attached to it. Before increasing the amount of square footage devoted to storage, here are five key questions churches need to consider:
From all of us at Aspen Group, we wish you a Merry Christmas and every blessing in the new year! We're grateful to have partnered with so many churches in 2017, and we're looking forward to continuing to fulfill our mission to create space for ministry impact throughout the coming year.
Before we step into 2018, here's one more look at our top blogs posts and new resources from this past year. See you on the other side of the calendar flip!
Strong leadership in your church is desirable. You want leaders. But how do you actually empower these leaders at your church? Whether you are grooming new leaders or looking to vitalize current ones, here is a simple tool that looks at how to empower the leaders in your church or at your sites to actually go out and do the things you’re looking for them to do.